Matching Items (6)

A taxonomic treatment of Nicotiana in Arizona

Description

This project is a revised taxonomic treatment of the tobacco genus, Nicotiana, for the Arizona Flora. The treatment required morphological descriptions of all six species found in Arizona based on

This project is a revised taxonomic treatment of the tobacco genus, Nicotiana, for the Arizona Flora. The treatment required morphological descriptions of all six species found in Arizona based on measurements and observations from mounted herbarium specimen as well as field collections. Loans from regional herbaria including: Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Rancho Santa Anna Herbarium, and the Desert Botanical Garden were examined and annotated according to standard herbaria protocols. A dichotomous key was then created based on morphological descriptions for use in identifying species both in the field and from herbarium mounts. Distribution maps were generated using online databases of herbarium vouchers, mapping soft wares, and field excursions. During the course of my field work, I was able to locate all six species and four of them were collected, vouchered, and deposited in the ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium. One species, Nicotiana quadrivalvis was not relocated based on historical records. This treatment will contribute to ongoing revisions of the Arizona Flora via a publication in the regional taxonomic journal Canotia.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Diversity and History of the Plants in the Alleyways of Tempe

Description

Urbanization has global impacts on ecosystems and transforms landscapes into man-made constructs. As urbanization continues to encroach on landscapes it is important to understand its effects on biodiversity and the

Urbanization has global impacts on ecosystems and transforms landscapes into man-made constructs. As urbanization continues to encroach on landscapes it is important to understand its effects on biodiversity and the long term health of our planet. In terms of species numbers, urban floras can actually be more diverse than their native surroundings and I am specifically interested in the species that have been introduced into these settings, their provenance, and the historical circumstances of how they were established. I collected plants in the alleys of Tempe, Arizona over a 5 month period to get a baseline understanding of the local diversity; then collected data from herbarium records using SEINet http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/ to trace the origin of the introduced species and the first record of their appearance. I also used on-line information from the City of Tempe to investigate the relationship of land use change, development, and population growth to the introductions of some non-native plants. Finally, I used SIENet records to investigate the relationship of collection intensity throughout the decades to the introductions of some non-native plants. A total of 130 specimen were collected representing 83 different species from 32 different families. Most of the introduced species were from climates similar to Arizona. New occurrence records were spread out over the decades that Tempe has been around, and I was only able to weakly link them to the historical and collection intensity data. Knowing the biodiversity of an area can give clues into the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides, as well as management implications. Additionally, knowing the history of what is out there may give insights into what the biodiversity of the future may look like.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Flora of the upper Verde River, Arizona

Description

The Upper Verde River of central Arizona flows through a landscape of complex geology at the meeting of seven biotic communities and three physiographic provinces. This has resulted in notably

The Upper Verde River of central Arizona flows through a landscape of complex geology at the meeting of seven biotic communities and three physiographic provinces. This has resulted in notably diverse flora and fauna and a hub of rare and endemic plant species. The river has sustained cultures since pre-history, however current regional water use is predicted to diminish streamflow over the next century. Prior to this project, no floristic inventory had been conducted along any section of the Verde. The purpose of this study was to develop a Flora of the Upper Verde River, with the goals of documenting rare and endemic species, the composition and abundance of wetland plants, and the factors shaping plant diversity in the region.

I made a total of 1856 collections and reviewed past collections to produce a checklist of 729 vascular plant taxa in 403 genera and 98 families. The most species-rich family is the Poaceae, followed by Asteraceae and Fabaceae. The flora includes 159 wetland taxa, 47 endemics, and 26 taxa of conservation concern, eight of which are Federally listed. Several new populations were found in these categories and of rarely-collected taxa including one state record, three county records and several range extensions. I report on the local status of several endemics, wetland taxa with limited distributions, and relict populations of a tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius) that were likely transported to the region and cultivated by pre-Columbian cultures. I categorize thirteen distinct plant communities, the most abundant being Pinyon/Juniper Woodland, Chihuahuan/Apacherian Scrub, and Riparian Deciduous Forest.

Four primary factors influence floristic diversity of the Upper Verde region: 1) a location at the junction of three physiographic and floristic provinces—represented by co-occurrence of species with affinities to the Sonoran, Intermountain and Madrean regions, 2) geologic diversity—as distinct groups of species are associated with particular geologic types, 3) topographic and habitat complexity—allowing species adapted to disparate environments to co-occur, and 4) human introductions—since over 15% of the flora is composed of introduced species from Eurasia and several taxa were introduced to the region and cultivated by pre-Columbian cultures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A Preliminary Flora for Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and Studies on the Life History of the Endangered Huachuca Water Umbel

Description

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), located in southeastern Arizona, is a place of ecological and historical value. It is host to rare native, threatened and endangered fauna and flora.

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), located in southeastern Arizona, is a place of ecological and historical value. It is host to rare native, threatened and endangered fauna and flora. as well as the site of the oldest operating ranch in the state. The first chapter of this thesis provides a preliminary flora of vascular plants at LCNCA assembled from field collections, photographs and herbarium specimens, and published through the online database SEINet. This preliminary flora of LCNCA identified 403 species in 76 families. Less than 6% of the flora is non-native, perennial forbs and grasses are the most abundant groups, and over a third of species in the checklist are associated with wetlands. LCNCA has been the target of adaptive management and conservation strategies to preserve its biotic diversity, and results from this study will help inform actions to preserve its rare habitats including cottonwood willow forests, mesquite bosques, sacaton grasslands, and cienegas. The second chapter investigates poorly understood aspects of the life history of the endangered Huachuca Water Umbel (Lilaeopsis schaffneriana subsp. recurva. Apiaceae) (hereafter HWU). This wetland species occurs in scattered cienegas and streams in southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. Three studies were conducted in a greenhouse to investigate seed bank establishment, seed longevity, and drought tolerance. A fourth study compared the reproductive phenology of populations transplanted at LCNCA to populations transplanted at urban sites like the Phoenix Zoo Conservation Center and the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG). Results from the greenhouse studies showed that HWU seeds were capable of germinating 15 years in a dormant state and that HWU seeds are present in the seed banks at sites where populations have been transplanted. Also, greenhouse experiments indicated that colonies of HWU can tolerate up to 3 weeks without flowing water, and up to 2 weeks in dry substrate. Transplanted populations at LCNCA monitored in the fourth study produced a higher abundance of flowers and fruit relative to urban sites (i.e. DBG) suggesting that in-situ conservation efforts may be more favorable for the recovery of HWU populations. Findings from these studies aim to inform gaps in knowledge highlighted in USFWS recovery plan for this species.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The Vegetation and Flora of the Lower Verde River, Arizona

Description

For this study, the flora of the northern section of the Lower Verde River, within the Tonto National Forest in Yavapai and Gila Counties, Arizona was documented and analyzed. The

For this study, the flora of the northern section of the Lower Verde River, within the Tonto National Forest in Yavapai and Gila Counties, Arizona was documented and analyzed. The study site, part of the northern leading edge of the Sonoran Desert, encompasses about 16,000 hectares and is located approximately 45 miles north-northeast of Phoenix. The area, extends roughly 28 river miles from the East Verde River in the north to Chalk Mountain in the south and is largely only accessible by foot, or by boat, and as a result was previously extremely under-collected. Over a three-year study period, from August, 2017 to May, 2020, 835 plant specimens were collected and identified, representing 360 species which, combined with earlier herbarium specimens collected by others, resulted in 427 plant species found in the study area. The plant diversity of this remote region reflects three distinct vegetation communities: upland Sonoran Desert, perennial riparian corridor, and semi-desert grasslands. Together, these communities act as an important transition zone between the Sonoran Desert and higher elevation habitats. Perennial streams are biodiversity hotspots within the study area. For example, the 400 hectares of Red Creek that falls within the study boundaries contain 28% of the total species. The study site contains several plants of conservation importance including 12 species endemic to Arizona, 22 vulnerable or imperiled species, five US Forest Service sensitive species, and one Federally Endangered species. In order to compare the diversity of the Lower Verde River Flora to nine other similar/related floras in Arizona, a species-area curve using five different models was generated. The resulting models showed the Lower Verde River flora to be very close to, although slightly below, the species-accumulation curve which may indicate that roughly 50-100 species may yet be added to the flora. This prediction seems realistic, as there were several locations that could not be collected due to remoteness and excessive heat.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Flora of Usery Mountain Regional Park and Pass Mountain region of Tonto National Forest, Arizona and distribution of Saguaro (Carnegniea gigantea) on Pass Mountain in southern Tonto National Forest

Description

This study was designed to produce a comprehensive flora of Usery Mountain Regional Park and Pass Mountain of the Tonto National Forest. A total of 168 vascular plant species representing

This study was designed to produce a comprehensive flora of Usery Mountain Regional Park and Pass Mountain of the Tonto National Forest. A total of 168 vascular plant species representing 46 families and 127 genera were collected or documented at this study area. Sixteen species were not native to the flora of Arizona and represent 9.5% of the flora. Nevertheless, the study area does not appear to be significantly damaged or degraded in spite of its historical and current land use. The location and types of invasive species recorded in this study will assist with implementing preventative measures to prevent further spreading of certain species. The complete list of all vascular species recorded in this study will provide a valuable tool for land management decisions and future restoration projects that may occur at this area or similar sites and invasive species control. The distribution of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) population on Pass Mountain was documented through the measurement of saguaros by random sampling. ArcGIS was used to generate 50 random points for sampling the saguaro population. Analysis to determine saguaro habitat preferences based on the parameters of aspect, slope and elevation was conducted through ArcGIS. The saguaro population of Pass Mountain significantly favored the southern aspects with the highest concentration occurring in the southwest aspects at an average density of 42.66 saguaros per hectare. The large numbers of saguaros recorded in the younger size classes suggests a growing populations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011